ECLIPSE SHUTTERS, EMPIRE TODAY STRIKE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Empire Today LLC, Northlake, IL, has added Eclipse Shutters™ to its window treatments product line.
Empire Today is a top-ranked provider of installed home furnishings and home improvement products in North America with locations in more than 50 major markets in the United States and Canada. Beginning this month, Empire Today will offer Eclipse Shutters in Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Milwaukee, WI; New York City, New York; Baltimore, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Seattle, WA; Phoenix, AZ and Los Angeles, CA.
In business for over 45 years, Empire was ranked one of the Top 200 Brands in the United States by Advertising Age magazine and the Nation’s No. 1 Specialty Flooring Retailer by Floor Covering Weekly.
Empire has added Eclipse Shutters’ Polyresin3® shutters, which are waterproof; designed not to rust, crack, mildew or warp; are easily washable; and resistant to staining agents. They feature energy efficient design to save on heating and cooling costs and no dangling cords for optimum child safety.
WORKROOM ASSOCIATION FORMED
The Workroom Association of America, LLC, (WAA) has been formed by Mary Ann Plumlee, Plumlee Place, Waco, TX.
The association (www.workroomassociationofamerica.com) is established as a trade association for all types of workrooms.
“WAA is a membership-based organization that has been formed to strengthen and support the artisans who are so vital to the soft coverings industry,” said Plumlee. “Our mission is to work together to impact the lives of our individual members in a positive way and to bring value-added programs and benefits to the workroom trade. Our goal is to lend a voice to the needs and concerns of people whose skills are the cornerstone of our industry.”
Patricia Sprinkle, former editor of the CHF Magazine and former lifestyles editor of The Mountaineer Enterprise Newspaper, will join WAA as director of communications.
WAA member benefits will include collection services for wholesale accounts, credit and background checking service for wholesale accounts, health insurance, on-the-job training program, financial benefits, group buying plan, commercial job support, display/sample program, educational support, promotional tools such as editorial support, brochures and Web sites.
“We extend an invitation to all professional workrooms that specialize in draperies, slipcovers, or upholstery to join WAA,” said Plumlee. “Together we can make a difference.”
PLASTIBEC ANNOUNCES EXPANSION PLANS, INTRODUCES PROVIDENCE COLLECTION
Plastibec Inc. announces the addition of four additional extrusion lines to its 130,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility located in Boisbriand, Canada.
Since the management buyout acquisition (see D&WC, June 2007, page 14), demand for its vinyl louver extrusions has continually increased, the company states. The additional extrusion lines are its response to the industry’s demand for decorative and innovative extrusions manufactured in North America, it adds.
Plastibec USA Corp. announces the launch of its most extensive vertical vinyl collection containing 335 SKUs with 52 patterns. A collection containing seven individual themed decks addressing today’s latest fashion trends, colors and patterns. Decorative valance options also are featured in this new collection.
ECLIPSE SHUTTERS NOW GREENGUARD LISTED
Eclipse™ Shutters, Suwanee, GA, announces that its shutter products have been tested and qualified under the GreenGuard Environmental Institute (GEI) Program and are now GreenGuard Listed for Microbial Resistance.
The Eclipse Shutter is non-porous, which resists mold and mildew growth. With an increase in air pollutants and their contribution to allergies, asthma and many other breathing problems among the population, Eclipse Shutters have been specified in various commercial applications ranging from health care to childcare and hospitality, the company states.
All products certified by GEI must pass a series of rigorous tests and undergo a quarterly test as well as annual re-certification. GEI is an independent non-profit organization founded to create healthier indoor environments, improving public health and quality of life by testing low-chemical-emitting products and materials.
VISION BY VERTILUX RECEIVES OEKO-TEX AND ISO-9001 CERTIFICATIONS
Vertilux, Miami, FL, announces its Vision line of solar screen fabrics meets the stringent international Oeko-Tex Standard 100. Oeko-Tex analyzes textile products and verifies that they are tested for banned or harmful substances, such as mercury, lead and cyanide, and pose no risk to human health. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, a global eco-label, was obtained in partnership with Vertilux’s sister company in Spain.
“Through our worldwide network, we saw how influential the Oeko-Tex eco-label is in Europe and felt it was important to bring that same level of assurance to our customers in North America,” says Ben Kutell, Vertilux vice president of sales and marketing. “We provide products that are made responsibly, with respect for the manufacturing employees, the environment and, ultimately, the people who live and work in buildings furnished with Vertilux Vision solar screen window coverings.”
In addition to the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, the solar screen fabrics are manufactured to the standards of ISO-9001 certification. The resulting fabric is technically consistent, is resistant to fraying, will hang straight without bowing or cupping, and will roll up square on the roll.
GCWC, HUNTER DOUGLAS INTRODUCE TWO NEW PRODUCTS
Gulf Coast Window Covering (GCWC), Houston, TX, and Hunter Douglas, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ, introduced two new window coverings products at a cocktail reception October 3.
Nearly 200 designers and retailers attended the reception, where they were able to view the two new product lines being introduced by Hunter Douglas. Ron Rubinoff, vice president and general manager of the Window Décor Division of Hunter Douglas, started off the event by introducing Skyline™ Gliding Window Panels, ideal for both large and small window expanses. The system features an innovative hardware system and is available in five fabric styles including screens, sheers, semi-opaques, opaques, and natural and woven grasses.
Next, Amy Gagliano, brand manager at Hunter Douglas’ Window Fashions Division, presented Pirouette®, a new concept that combines the characteristics of a fabric shading with the Invisi-Lift™ system that allows the horizontal soft fabric vanes to open and close in front of a fabric sheer, providing unobstructed views when open and complete privacy when closed.
Gulf Coast Window Covering is a full-line fabricator of Hunter Douglas window fashions and has been a fabricator of window fashions for more than 50 years.
SUNLAND SHUTTERS OFFERS NEW DOMESTIC PRODUCT LEAD TIMES
Sunland Shutters, Long Beach, CA, has launched Express USA Program to customers across the nation. This new program has been designed to significantly reduce production lead times for all product lines within the company, it states.
Although historically offered with a domestic fabrication option, Sunland has reworked the domestic program for its signature Polycore line to effectively shorten the U.S. production time to as little as seven working days (will-call lead time for northern Florida and Southern California, all other regions will have 14 working days will-call lead times).
Beginning January 1, 2008, the Express USA Program will also offer a domestic express production option for Sunland’s 100 percent premium basswood line, Lexwood. Lexwood Express USA is expected to have domestic production lead times of 14 working days (will-call lead time for northern Florida and Southern California, all other regions will have 21 working days will-call lead times).
Sunland is extremely enthusiastic about the benefits and opportunities that this new program will create for their dealers, the company states.
HELSER BROTHERS’ JEWELS RECEIVES TOP DESIGN AWARD
Jewels™, designed by Arizona designer Debra May Himes and produced by Helser Brothers, Inc., was awarded first place in product design in the ASID Arizona North Chapter Annual Excellence in Design Awards. Already a Design Magazine ADEX Platinum Award Recipient, Jewels is the first introduction in Helser Brother’s new Compositions™ drapery hardware line.
Compositions Jewels allows designers freedom to create unique finial arrangements by combining pieces from a large array of crystal, metal and mosaic glass tile elements in a variety of finishes and colors.
SUN GLOW INTRODUCES ULTRA LITE FOR LARGE WINDOW COVERINGS
Sun Glow Window Covering Products of Canada Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, now offers Ultra Lite, a new window shade accessory designed to reduce the pull force required to operate large window coverings.
Ultra Lite can fit most window sizes and is easily concealed in a cassette box or three-inch fascia, the company states. By reducing stress on pre-existing shade components it increases the longevity of the entire unit.
The Ultra Lite is highly customizable; it comes pre-tensioned and is easily re-tensioned on site if necessary. Installation requires no additional labor, the company adds.
ITA RELEASES NEW CASLAN SAMPLE BOOK, FABRICS
ITA Inc., Palm Coast, FL, has upgraded its retailer sample book for Caslan® Designer Shades, while introducing several new fabrics to its collection of soft folding shades.
The new sample book includes features designed to enhance the in-store and at-home shopping experience, and showcases the diversity of one of its most successful window fashion products, the company states. The compact, lightweight and easy-to-handle new book features full-page room setting photographs, generously sized fabric swatches, removable swatch cards and a snap-close carrying strap.
ITA’s latest group of Caslan fabrics is designed to capitalize on trends in the current folding shades market. Sienna captures the look and feel of raw silk; Casino, offers the look of crashed silk; Suede presents the feel of natural hide in eight earth tones; and Catera is a blackout version of Cassandra, the company’s best-selling light filtering fabric, it adds.
ECLIPSE SHUTTERS LAUNCHES NEW PRODUCT INNOVATIONS
Eclipse Shutters™ Suwanee, GA, has introduced several new product innovations: a panel lock system, decorative frames, elliptical louvers, new color and names.
Completely redesigned, Eclipse Shutters now feature a spring-loaded, button-and-ramp mechanism that provides improvements for both installation and use. No more unsightly magnets, the company states.
Two new decorative frames—Deluxe Trim (inside mount) and B (outside mount) frames—are available in four colors: Cotton, Pearl, Vanilla and Sandstone.
A new elliptical louver shape and panel maximum widths up to 36 inches also are now available in 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and 4 1/2-inch louver sizes in both traditional tilt-bar and Clearview hidden rear tilt options.
Finally, the company’s four new color names (Cotton, Pearl, Vanilla and Sandstone) are more descriptive to make it easier to describe and sell Eclipse Shutters, the company adds.
LOTUS INTRODUCES NEW LINE OF STOCKED VERTICALS
Lotus & Windoware, City of Industry, CA, announces the availability of its newest stocked ready-made aluminum vertical blinds in the most popular sizes ranging from 66 by 84 inches up to 118 by 84 inches.
This line comes complete with valance and returns, making it easier for installers as well as retailers. In addition, the company says it has quadrupled the number of lengths of its stocked vanes and added nearly 50 new widths in steel headrails from 22 1/2 inches to 118 inches.
The line extension comes at a time when verticals continue to rise in popularity with builders, the company states.
NEW SOFT SCREEN SHADES ADD STRENGTH TO SOFTNESS
ITA Inc., Palm Coast, FL, has introduced Meritec® Soft Screen, a new shading fabric that combines a soft surface texture with a stable internal structure. The fabric’s unique properties are achieved through a patented, three-dimensional, layered design incorporating new, high-tech materials and construction methods, the company states.
The internal core layer of high-tenacity spun polyester provides heavy-duty strength and durability. A middle layer of specialized “smart plastics” adds structural integrity though a unique, internal polymer-thread welding process, it adds.
Meritec Soft Screen Shades are made exclusively from recyclable, non–toxic raw materials and do not rely on PVC coatings or halogens. They are certified as environmentally compatible under ITA’s proprietary GreenAssured® testing program. According to the company, the GreenAssured logo adds significant sales value within the growing, environmentally aware consumer market.
WARREN STEVEN ENHANCES WEB SITE
Warren Steven Window Fashions, Minneapolis, MN, has updated the “Product” section on its Web site, www.warrensteven.com. Visitors looking for a way to find everything they need in just a few clicks can browse through a portfolio of drapery projects or find information on any Hunter Douglas product in one spot. Order forms, product components, size standards and basic product information are all there, the company states.
REMEDY, ECLIPSE SHUTTERS PARTNER, RAISE FUNDS FOR HOMEAID
Remedy Blinds, Inc., Santa Ana, CA, has added the shutter program from Eclipse Shutter™ to its window treatment line.
In October, Remedy Blinds and Eclipse Shutters, Suwanee, GA, partnered in the official product launch, an open house and a fund drive for HomeAid of Orange County.
Eclipse Shutters offered educational sessions to industry related attendees who included dealers, designers and architects from Southern California. All proceeds from the open house went to the non-profit HomeAid organization to assist in its mission of providing housing for the homeless.
PASSIVE SOLAR HEATING PROTOTYPE SELECTED FOR MIT’S ZERO ENERGY HOME
A prototype of a Warm Light Wall System for passive solar heating by Wendell Colson, senior vice president of research and development for Hunter Douglas, has been selected part of the solar-powered Zero Energy Home designed by an MIT team in Cambridge, MA. Called Solar 7, the team is made up of graduate and undergraduate students and a group of professional advisors and community volunteers. The home, being built on the corner of Albany and Portland streets in Cambridge, has also been selected to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2007 Decathlon.
The 800 square-foot-home provides energy and heating/cooling needs directly from solar energy without using fuel and while remaining off the grid.
The Warm Light Wall System is an early prototype of a proprietary passive solar heating technology that has been in development for some time by Colson. It is based on a modular building block form of a passive solar heating system developed in the 1930s by French engineer Félix Trombe, commonly known as a Trombe wall.
“It was an honor to have this modular system chosen as one of the primary heating systems by the MIT team,” said Colson. Used for the south wall of the structure, the Warm Light Wall System consists of acrylic building blocks that assemble to create a translucent window that includes all the elements necessary for solar heating.
JACLYN SMITH HOME UNIFIES COLLECTIONS; DRAPERIES TO BE ADDED
Actress and entrepreneur Jaclyn Smith has reorganized her home collections under an integrated company brand: Jaclyn Smith Home.
Smith’s home collections include products produced by several vendor partners and include affordable furniture, bedding, fabrics and accent rugs. The items each vendor contributes now will be prominently identified with the Jaclyn Smith Home name. Case goods, lighting, top of bed, outdoor, fine art reproductions and drapery are all categories the team expects to launch in the near future.
Smith entered the home furnishings market in 2002. Through Jaclyn Smith International, her business ventures have expanded to include fashion, home furnishings and beauty products.
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS: GRABER HOME CHOICES PROGRAM
An element of the Graber Home Choices program for professional builders was unintentionally omitted in the Industry News section of the September 2007 issue of Draperies & Window Coverings. As announced, the program is intended to be supported by the services of the brand’s dedicated builder team and local dealers. We regret the omission.
A statement from Graber to correct and clarify any confusion reads, in part: “This program involves our local fabricator network working closely with their dealers to support the regional builders for their Graber window covering orders. Home Choices is meant to make it easier for dealers to sell to local builders and their consumers by providing a simplified sample book and sophisticated on-line quoting and ordering tool. While the work is sometimes completed in conjunction with our national builder team, our fabricators and local dealers are paramount to the success of the program. We simply could not implement and execute Home Choices without the support and dedication of our loyal Graber distribution network.”
For more information on the Home Choices program, the company asks that dealers contact their local Graber fabricator. Any additional questions or comments may be directed to Sal Parente, director of sales, at email@example.com.